THE Port of Soller is a long way from Sydney, but for jazz and soul singer Marianna, Europe feels like home. The Australian singer/song writer (she initially wanted to be a journalist) is currently performing in Majorca while top Italian DJ and producer Larry Cadge works on putting her album together in Milan.
She has been invited to Majorca in the meantime by REVEALmusix, a Majorca/Sydney based record label, represented on the island by Katarina Stuebe, which is putting together a new concept in music, music to match your mood. Marianna's new album will be the first on the new label and will feature a wide range of music from jazz and soul to the blues, funk and chillout tracks. But how did a leading Milan DJ hear Marianna while she was busy performing at all the top spots in Sydney? In March this year a close friend of mine went back to Italy to visit her family and brought my music to the attention of Larry Cadge. The next thing I knew he wanted to remix one of my songs called FREE and it became one of the top dance floor tracks of the summer in the clubs across Europe, she said yesterday.
Larry eventually decided to invite Marianna over to Milan to record some more tracks and to put her first single together for release over the next few months and then the album early next year.
It's an exciting experience for me, I had only recently made the decision to push ahead with my music and that obviously meant moving into the commercial scene. However in Australia the pop' scene is currently dominated by the one-hit wonder idols' so coming to Europe was a great opportunity to get involved with a much wider music scene.
It's a bit like getting back to my roots, she said.
Marianna grew up listening to a lot of jazz. My Aunt played a lot of Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, but also a lot of Motown. I like Stevie Wonder and the Motown sound, so that's why I sing jazz and soul. I was also really into gospel as a kid and got the girls at my catholic school to all dress up to give a gospel performance, she says. Yeah! that's it, a bit like Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act, she laughs.
More modern influences include Tracy Chapman and Norah Jones.
Her set in Majorca features eight of her original songs and then five or six cover versions, some by Chapman and Jones.
She admits she is more of a song writer than a singer next best thing to being a journalist. I guess my writing was always more musically inclined. On Friday night she performed at the superyacht regatta party. I couldn't believe how many Kiwis there were, being so far away from home, she admitted. Tonight will be singing her jazz and soul at the Agapanto bar/restaurant in the Port of Soller.
Check What's On for further concerts and times.